Monday, November 26, 2007

When life gives you lemons

We’ve all heard it said 1,000 times: when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But has anyone ever said that to you on a really bad day? It’s pretty much the last thing I want to hear. Yet today, it has been the phrase that keeps running through my head, and I can’t shake it. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by a community of pastors (and strong lay-leaders!) to-be, and though we haven’t all gotten A’s in pastoral care, we know better than that. Yet I can’t stop myself from thinking it on my own bad day…

Sometimes, I think there is power in just claiming that all days aren’t going to be wonderful, and to let a bad day just be a bad day. Thank God for the life and breath and strength to make it through, and be sad or angry or scared or whatever you’re feeling. Then get up the next day and start afresh.

This has been my problem: allowing a bad day to just be bad. For better or worse, I always have to do something to help it pick up, to smile and to laugh and to enjoy my company. I do this even when it is not fully genuine, for I know that no one wants to be around someone who just “mopes” all day!

Today has been a bad day. In fact, it has been quite a rough week. It ends today, though. My bad run must end today: the day I finally allow to be bad all day long, without trying to “fix” what I have no control over. I have come home after a long day of being unproductive due to all the distractions of life. I have missed preaching class because of the grace my wonderful professor has offered me in recognizing that sometimes, we just need “mental health days.” So today I allow my soul to be at peace right where she is, sorrow and all. And tomorrow, I begin anew. I will write papers, prepare Bible studies, spend time with my favorite homeless community of Chicago during Dignity Diner, and have a wonderful meeting for church. God has placed me in this place at this time, and God will give me no more than I can handle. So while I might not have lemonade today, I celebrate that. And I know that when the lemonade does come in a few days’ time, it will be sweeter and juicier than ever before.

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